REDEFINE | Film featuring Jamie Faulkner Photography


“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it. ” 

Why are you passionate about this topic?  

I am passionate about film because it just has something unexplainable about it that I crave for, that I honestly have a hard time explaining. I have been shooting for business (digital) since 2009. I have had my ups and downs and my ruts and my funks. In 2013, I started viewing film work from some photographers. Yan Palmer was one of them. I fell in love with the mystery, the imperfections, the tones, the color… everything about it. It was not until the first of 2015 did I buy my first film camera, my 35mm- and the rest is history. I am all self taught, and I am still a huge work in process. I have yet to bring film over to my business, it is all personal as of right now, and that is okay with me. But I will say that I am now seeing that film will work its way into my business soon. At first, I was like oh no, I will only do this for personal. But as of late, I can see that my heart is in film and I must follow my heart.

Film has taught me to slow down. To enjoy the moment right in front of me more. Instead of all that shooting like crazy, checking the back of the camera, re-shooting..I watch my scene unfold very carefully. I am way more in tune with the subjects that I am photographing, the composition the I am setting up, and of course the light.

The biggest and most important thing that film has taught me…..that there is so much more to light and life that just shooting in that “golden hour” I will admit, I was that golden hour light snob. And to be honest, will always hold that special to my heart because lets me honest… it is gorgeous. But film has taught me that you need to know ALL LIGHT and how to utilize it. I think tons of photographers limit their knowledge to only the golden hour, and that beyond that, they think they can’t shoot or maybe do not understand how to shoot in different situations. Granted, film handles light completely different than digital, but shooting film all hours of the day has taught me about light than anything else. I see light so much better now and my mind is not limited to that golden hour anymore.

The passion for film has fulfilled me in my journey photographing my children and I now see it overflowing to my clients and I am very excited about the things to come. I will not for sure it is going to happen soon, but in my heart, its bound to happen. To me film is: simple, carefree, real, minimalist, and emotive. I am passionate about all those things.

When did you first learn this technique? Or, when did you first realize you liked this topic? 

2013 is when I first started viewing film work. My close friend and photographer, Stephanie Susie (Stephanie Susie Photography) had started out in film and she was dabbling in it here and there and shot our family on film in late 2013. I was in love. And I watched film shooters for another year and drooled over the work and studied it. So in January 2015, I bought my first film camera.
What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to achieve this technique? 

I would suggest starting out with a 35mm film camera.. The controls are similar to digital, and it is the best camera to learn film on. I suggest keeping a film journal, and shooting all the stocks and finding what YOU like, the tones YOU like, and the feel you are going for. I would also invest in a light meter, besides the one in the 35mm. I still use my internal meter on my 35, because I taught myself the sweet spot. But on my medium format camera (that I just got!) I do use an external, and those are excellent to learn on. You have to get good exposure to get the right tones, and most of all, the skin tones. I also suggest doing a lot of research on film. Google the topic, there are lots blog posts about film! Research film labs (my personal fave is the Find Lab) and when you send in your first roll of film, connect with them. They have so much wonderful advice and helped me from the get go. And also, look into some online film workshops. They are many in person ones as well, but I love having those PDFs to look back on from the online ones because there is a ton of info,and first starting out, its nice to have all that in writing to read. Study, study, study! Lastly, reach out to a film photographer. Find online groups, online forums! I am in a group on FB that has been so very helpful to me!

I also participated in the Ashley Crawford Photography film class was extremely helpful and beneficial with lots of information and it helps makes sense of the many different aspects of film photography.

What were the challenges for you in the beginning?
Just about everything, LOL. Film is so different from digital. I was constantly checking my viewfinder for the image to view, and that took awhile to break. Making sure I got the shot correct as far as settings was a challenge to face. There is no checking and re-doing. So, paying very close attention to what you are shooting and how, is the key. It almost disciplines yourself in that aspect. Makes you stay on top of your toes.  Metering was a challenge, as film handles light very differently. Different light situations… its all completely night and day. In my opinion, film is better. It handles light effortlessly. And after all, light is the key to any photograph. But with that said, you have to be able to meter and know your stock that you are working with. So for anyone starting, expect to have to purchase several different stocks and experiment. I think the other major challenge was shooting my running kids with film. As we all do with digital, we continually snap those running toddlers, re-composing and shooting more. Film you just can not do that. Medium format has 24 exposures, 35mm has 36 exposures. You have to use those wisely. So, that brings me back to making me pay more attention and in the end it has made me a better shooter, for film and digital. But in the beginning, that is an extreme challenge.
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Above: Camera – Pentax Pentax645afd, all scanned and developed by the Find Lab
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Above: Camera – 35mm NikonF100, all scanned and developed by The Find Lab
About the photographer:
Jamie Faulkner is a natural light photographer located in Goreville, IL & serves the Southern Illinois and Western Kentucky area.
Website. Facebook. Instagram. Pinterest.

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